Government waives forced mergers for six municipalities, some yet undecided ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonia's map will see some changes following the completion of the administrative reform.
Estonia's map will see some changes following the completion of the administrative reform. Source: (Denj za Dnjom/Postimees/Scanpix)

The Estonian government confirmed six exceptions in the ongoing administrative form which will remain independent local governments despite falling below the required minimum population level of 5,000.

The government confirmed the following exceptions to planned mergers:

  • The town of Loksa (pop. 2,738) with Kuusalu Municipality
  • Vaivara Municipality and the town of Narva-Jõesuu (pop. 4,772) with the city of Sillamäe (Kohtla-Järve's Viivikonna district to still be transferred)
  • Kohtla, Kohtla-Nõmme and Toila Municipalities with Alajõe, Iisaku, Mäetaguse and Tudulinna Municipalities
  • Häädemeeste and Municipalities (total pop. 4,982) with Saarde and Surju Municipalities (4,8723)
  • Kanepi, Kõlleste and Valgjärve Municipalities with Ahja, Laheda, Mooste, Põlva and Vastse-Kuuste Municipalities
  • Antsla and Urvaste Municipalities (pop. 4,649) with Orava, Vastseliina, Lasva, Sõmerpalu and Võru Municipalities

The government also decided to forward four earlier merger proposals to regional committees for an additional opinion by June 28:

  • The town of Keila with Keila, Padise, Vasalemma Municipalities and the town of Paldiski
  • Haljala and Vihula Municipalities with Rakvere and Sõmeru
  • Luunja and Tähtvere Municipalities with the city of Tartu
  • Nõo Municipality with the city of Elva and Konguta, Palupera, Puhja, Rannu and Rõngu Municipalities

A dozen mergers will be seen through:

  • Emmaste and Pühalepa Municipalities with Hiiu and Käina Municipalities — to form Hiiumaa Municipality
  • Lüganuse Municipality with the city of Kiviõli and Sonda Municipality — to form Lüganuse Municipality
  • Illuka Municipality with Alajõe, Iisaku, Mäetaguse and Tudulinna Municipalities — to form Alutaguse Municipality
  • Koeru Municipality with Albu, Ambla, Imavere, Järva-Jaani, Kareda and Koigi Municipalities — to form Järva Municipality
  • Rakke Municipality with Väike-Maarja Municipality — to form Väike-Maarja Municipality
  • Tõstamaa Municipality with Audru and Paikuse Municipalities and the city of Pärnu — to form the city of Pärnu
  • Juuru Municipality with Kaiu, Raikküla and Rapla Municipalities — to form Rapla Municipality
  • Tabivere Municipality with Laeva, Piirissaare and Tartu Municipalities — to form Tartu Municipality
  • The town of Kallaste and Pala Municipality with Alatskivi, Peipsiääre and Vara Municipalities — to form Peipsiääre Municipality
  • Kambja Municipality with Ülenurme Municipality — to form Kambja Municipality
  • Meremäe, Mikitamäe and Municipalities with Misso Municipality's Luhamaa nulk (traditional Seto district) — to form Setomaa Municipality
  • Orava and Vastseliina Municipalities with Lasva, Sõmerpalu and Võru Municipalities — to form Võru Municipality

Aab: This wasn't an easy decision

"Local governments have done a huge job and first and foremost I want to thank those local government leaders who managed to execute mergers in the voluntary stage," said Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center), noting that there were also those who couldn't or did not want to do so and awaited the government's decision regarding the fate of their local government.

"We analyzed and thoroughly weighed all arguments presented to us by local governments who had received a merger proposal," said the minister. "Each local government is very unique and as a result these decisions were not easy either."

Editor: Aili Vahtla



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